Conference Presentations

Agile Measures that Matter: What Are You Really Learning?

“Speed” describes how fast an object is moving and let’s us compute the distance it has traveled. “Velocity” is different-it defines both speed and direction. So why do I meet so many teams who talk about their velocity but lack direction? Once you can track speed and distance, the real challenge becomes envisioning, validating, and measuring direction and purpose. David Hussman explores what teams typically measure and track in agile projects today, and compares these to what is most important to the business and to the project’s success. Come ready to question what you are measuring and how it is helping you improve. Join David to learn how to use data in more meaningful ways, discover new ways to measure velocity, and identify new tools to help ensure you are doing more of what is really needed. Come away with the answer to the key question: How do your teams know that they are building the right things for the business?

David Hussman, DevJam
Integrating Systems Thinking into Enterprise Agile

While Scrum and XP have become very popular in agile development shops, most companies adopting them run into problems beyond just a few teams. These challenges often fall into a common set of patterns, which points to a lack of systems thinking-the process of understanding how things influence one another within a larger whole. Alan Shalloway shares his ideas on how the agile community can move beyond its team-centric approach to adopt a more holistic, systems-based approach. Systems thinking creates new opportunities to create substantially larger development teams-Alan calls them “pan-teams.” These teams work interdependently with a common vision and context. Pan-teams enhance the motivations for the teams and individuals to collaborate as a normal part of their daily work thus reducing the amount of forced collaboration.

Alan Shalloway, Net Objectives
Creating a Professional Credo: Aligning Career, Goals, and Personal Happiness

In a world where technology is rapidly changing, development practices are quickly evolving, and teams are frequently reorganized, how can you remain steady and true to yourself? Even though things are changing around you, you can build a solid framework of personal beliefs to guide you throughout your professional career. To develop a credo-from the Latin “I believe”-is to take a personal journey through your professional life and the ideas that shaped it, ultimately creating your own statement of core beliefs. This credo forms a stable foundation for personal plans and actions. Marlena Compton shares the framework she’s used to build her professional credo. She examines manifestos and mission statements that have influenced her beliefs about building software and how she uses her credo as a basis to form concrete goals and take action.

Marlena Compton, Mozilla
Optimal Project Performance: Factors that Influence Project Duration

Speedy delivery is almost always a primary project goal or a significant project constraint. To shorten project duration without sacrificing quality or budget, you need to know where to focus the team’s efforts. Mining the QSM database containing many quantitative metrics and numerous qualitative attributes, Paul Below shares the factors that have the greatest influence on project duration. While he’s at it, Paul debunks a couple of myths. For example, many managers consider team skill to be important in determining duration of software projects-not so. The most important factors are certain types of tooling, architecture, testing efficiency, and management/leadership skills, which Paul explores in depth. Learn a technique for normalizing your projects for size by computing the standardized residual of duration.

Paul Below, QSM, Inc.
Why Self-reflection Matters!

All of us have experienced situations when we receive feedback. Some we readily accept; some we quickly reject. In a community that should be dedicated to constantly inspecting and adapting, why do we reject some feedback immediately? Tricia Broderick believes that self-reflection is the key to processing feedback in a positive light. In this interactive session, you’ll work with Tricia and other delegates to experience enriching discomfort, practice deep reflection, and ascertain why we can be so quick to dismiss feedback. Gain an understanding of how discomfort and self-reflection can be an IT professional's best friends. Leave with an expanded understanding of self-reflection that includes taking greater responsibility for personal development and tweaking your improvement-seeking process. If you are looking to get out of your comfort zone and grow as an individual and team member, this session is for you.

Tricia Broderick, TechSmith Corporation
Lean Product Management: When Phase/Gate Is the Wrong Choice

More than 70 percent of new software products fail or perform below expectations. Achieving product-market fit is essential-and doing it quickly and within budget increases your chances of success. However, the methods you should use depend on the problems you are trying to solve. The predominant phase-gate model used today is not always the right choice or fastest path to market. As an alternative, lean product management approaches focus attention on applying the right process at the project level. Greg Cohen describes the four product-market fit challenge types, how to identify the challenge type your project faces, and how to adjust your process accordingly.

Greg Cohen, 280 Group
Software Development Productivity: A New Way of Thinking

Just as John Steinbeck was able to identify the complex system of tides, eddies, and other currents that bring nutrients to support life in the Pacific Ocean, you need to do the same for the complex human system that builds software products. Ray Arell argues that development productivity can increase only when you enable developers to grow and master the craftsmanship around their work. Describing a systems model of software productivity, Ray explores the elements necessary to “feed” the system and achieve the highest potential productivity. To help you diagnose systems issues, Ray demonstrates a visual tool-casual loop diagrams-that shows you how to identify and address the impediments that slow teams and degrade job satisfaction. He uses the same tool to show how agile and lean methods establish key reinforcing loops that improve productivity.

Ray Arell, Intel Corporation
Developer-driven Quality: Putting Developers in the Drivers' Seat

Although many software development teams rely on their QA/Test departments to uncover critical product defects near the end of development, we all recognize the inefficiency of this approach. It’s better to find and fix defects earlier in the software development process to save time and money in the long run! Colby Litnak explores key concepts that encourage and empower developers to take primary responsibility for producing quality software. As with a souped-up race car, developers need specially designed tools and practices when they are at the wheel: fail-fast frameworks, one-click test execution, automated defect prevention principles, automatic notifications of untested code, hurtful test failures, and much more. Discover the principles developers must embrace to produce high quality code the first time-before it goes to QA/Test.

Colby Litnak, MasterControl, Inc.
ALM in the Cloud: Bringing Code to the Cloud and Back Again

The deployment destination for today’s applications is going through its biggest transition since the rise of the application server. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and other cloud service offerings are putting pressure on every stakeholder in the application lifecycle, forcing us to modernize both our skill sets and tool stacks. Mik Kersten describes the key cloud technology trends and demonstrates how the coming wave of cloud-friendly application lifecycle management (ALM) tools and practices will become the defining factor for productivity and ultimate success. Discover the new challenges developers face when deploying and debugging multi-tenanted applications on hosted infrastructures. Learn how continuous integration loops require testers to learn new tools that connect them directly to running applications.

Mik Kersten, Tasktop Technologies
When the Pressure Is On: A Risk-based Approach to Project Management

Teams everywhere have experienced tight deadlines for software development projects. In such time-constrained situations, how can you systematically determine where to focus the team’s efforts? How do you determine the right level of requirements documentation? How do you decide how much testing will be necessary so that you are not doing too little-or too much? Reán Young shows how a risk-based approach to these and many other issues helps you identify project strategy options and set priorities. Based on a combination of business and technical factors, you’ll learn to evaluate risks in each area of the application, and devise a plan to ensure that the most critical features will be developed, tested, and delivered before the deadline.

Rean Young, Kroger Company


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